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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

WATCH: Violent protests at Apple’s main iPhone factory in China over COVID policy, alleged lack of payment

Hundreds of workers joined protests at Foxconn’s iPhone factory in China (Video: AP.)

Violent protests broke out Wednesday at a Chinese iPhone factory, prompting a swift and severe response from authorities

Hundreds of workers joined the protests at the flagship factory of Tech manufacturer Foxconn, with some men smashing windows and surveillance cameras. 

The workers allegedly started lashing out when it became clear that the company planned to delay bonus payments, according to Reuters. They chanted "Give us our pay!" as authorities in hazmat suits carrying batons descended on them. 

Foxconn serves as Apple’s main subcontractor in China, with its Zhengzhou plant assembling more iPhones than any other location in the world. 

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The protest marks another sign of growing unrest in China, as Beijing continues to mandate strict COVID protocols, including lockdowns and widespread mandated testing. These protocols, part of the "zero-COVID" policy, have caused supply chain issues world-wide.

protest china covid iphone

Workers at the Foxconn iPhone plant in Zhengzhou protest poor treatment and COVID-19 policies.  (AP)

The factory itself went into lockdown last month in order to test and combat potential cases of COVID-19, the BBC reported. Some workers already fled the plant due to the rising COVID cases and other poor treatment by factory management. 

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However, some workers on their live stream videos – which remain unverified – claimed that the company forced them to share living spaces with workers who had tested positive for COVID-19. 

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"They changed the contract so that we could not get the subsidy as they had promised. They quarantine us but don't provide food," one Foxconn worker alleged during his live stream. "If they do not address our needs, we will keep fighting."

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Foxconn issued a statement countering the protesters to say that it had fulfilled its payment contracts and denied reports that infected staff live on campus. 

shanghai zero-covid

Medical workers work at a curbside spot offering 24-hour SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test to citizens in Shanghai, China Friday, midnight June 3, 2022. As the lockdown eases around the city, the zero-Covid policy still holds its ground.  (RAY YOUNG/ Feature China/Future Publishing via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"Regarding any violence, the company will continue to communicate with employees and the government to prevent similar incidents from happening again," the company added.

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Apple did not respond to FOX Business’s request for comment.

A source familiar with the situation in Zhengzhou told Reuters that production at the plant was unaffected by the worker unrest and output remained "normal."

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